Help Educate Girls in India

by Snehalaya 'Home of Love'
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Help Educate Girls in India
Help Educate Girls in India
Help Educate Girls in India
Help Educate Girls in India
Help Educate Girls in India
Help Educate Girls in India
Help Educate Girls in India
Help Educate Girls in India
Help Educate Girls in India
Help Educate Girls in India
Help Educate Girls in India
Help Educate Girls in India
Help Educate Girls in India
freedom to education
freedom to education

In our earlier report, you joined us for celebrating the success of the 12th standard results of our children. This time we would like you to join us in celebrating the freedom to be educated. Let’s celebrate the freedom to think, freedom to make the decision, freedom to learn and freedom to soar high. We believe in giving equal opportunity for girls to be educated just like a boy. And this time our girls have made us proud. And as proud parents would, we boost their success with head held high.  

On 12th July we celebrated ‘Malala Day’ where we had a get together of our girl beneficiaries who participated last year. And now they have become peer mentors. With the guidance and counseling they have received here, they are now confident enough to offer the same support and help to many other girls who are in need. We are strengthening their dreams by giving them the wings of education.

With you support we are able to provide equal opportunities all our girls. After completing their school and junior college, they now look forward to higher education. Out of 11 other girls who participated in the selection process of MM (Marathwada Mitra Mandal) Polytechnical College, Pune; two girl beneficiaries from our rehabilitation center, Sarita and Vidya have been selected for pursuing a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering. After clearing a written entrance examination they qualified for the oral interview round. After clearing the interview, they have been granted a scholarship for a Mechanical Diploma by the SNS Foundation. , They have defied all the odds, inspite of their vulnerable background. One of the girls was sent to the organization as she had a single parent while other one was abandoned only because she was a girl child.

We believe in empowering women and only education can give them the power to break down all the barriers of gender inequality, poverty, violence and enlighten the paths towards a better society at large.

Thank you so much for believing in our girls and helping them to dream big and soar high, this couldn’t have been possible without you. Their futures were in your hands and you delivered! Our deepest gratitude for supporting us and believing that together we can!

Malala Day (12 August 2019)
Malala Day (12 August 2019)

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Celebrating our girls results
Celebrating our girls results

Please join us as in celebrating today as our 12th Standard students’ results are announced. Thanks to your support our girls have not only completed their full 12 years of education they have also topped the results tables across our projects. This is all the more remarkable when you consider their backgrounds and the adversity they have overcome. Then, factor in the facts and realities for girls living in India, as recently shared by our partners in girls education, Malala Fund:

  • Nearly 40% of adolescent girls aged 15-18 are missing from Indian schools
  • Girls are twice as likely as boys to have had less than four years of schooling
  • 30% of girls from the poorest families have never set foot in a classroom

We are justifiably proud of each and every girl for focusing on their futures and doing all they can to break the cycles of poverty and violence they were born into.

Our top scorer, Bhagyashree from our shelter home, received 82% (with a top mark of 91% for her Marathi exam) and is now well on her way to realising her ambition of becoming a police officer. Bhagyashree is a great example of our mission to stop second generation prostitution through education. She came to Snehalaya from a local red-light area with her younger brother when she was 10 year’s old and as soon as she completed her 10th standard her mother started putting pressure on her to return home and help support her by starting work.

With our support and protection we were able to help her continue her studies and she also became a peer mentor for our Malala campaigns for education. She has been at the fore of our girls’ movement, presenting and encouraging other girls to stand strong for their rights to equality in education and help others to fight for theirs too. We are really proud of her and will continue to support and encourage her as she starts her police training.

Among the other girls from our shelter home celebrating their results are orphans of HIV/AIDS and it is extremely unlikely they would have reached 12th standard without our educational and psychological support. They are now considering their next steps and we will be using funds you donate to help them continue into higher education.

Our slum schools support 700 children from seven of our city slums and their work in after school classes and extracurricular activities have also paid off today with 38 out of 42 of their 12th Standard students passing their final college exams. Congratulations to Pratiksha who has been studying commerce and received 71% to come top of our slums table. The girls also bucked the trend by completing and excelling in science with all passing with between 65 and 75%.

Thank you so much for believing in our girls and helping them to achieve such fantastic results, we and they wouldn’t have been able to do it without you. Their futures were in your hands and you delivered! On behalf of us all we would sincerely like to thank you.

You are part of the team that makes this possible
You are part of the team that makes this possible

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Help us prevent child marriage
Help us prevent child marriage

Thanks to your support every day is women’s day here at Snehalaya as we work to ensure gender equality including the right to education for girls. It can be a challenge as we recently learned when a UNICEF study ranked our district as 16th highest (out of a total of 723 districts in India) for child marriages. It’s been shown that girls who complete secondary school are 6x less likely to become child brides (Source: Girls Not Brides), According to the United Nations Girls’ Education Initiative there are 62 million girls out of school worldwide and 142 million girls will be married before the age of 18 by 2020 if present trends continue (Source: United Nations Population Fund) which makes our recent and ongoing campaigns to promote girls’ education all the more vital.

As well as advocating for girls education we are also invited to share our insights and experience with global changemakers. As an example, yesterday we were honoured to have been invited to attend a Gender Empowerment Roundtable session with the World Benchmarking Alliance which has been tasked with establishing benchmarks to ensure UN Sustainable Development Goal 5: Gender Equality.

Discussions included the fact that women currently make 20% less than men, and they won’t reach pay equity with men until 2059, if the slow pace of progress on the pay gap persists. With UNICEF reporting that an extra year of education can help a girl earn 15-25% more as an adult and educated mothers being more than twice as likely to send their children to school, breaking down the barriers to girls and women has never been more important and we know that with your support we can make a difference.

We need your help to ensure we reach each and every girl in our district to educate and empower them to stand up for their rights. With this in mind, and building on our last three campaigns with Malala Fund, we will be delivering a girls’ education camp for up to 200 14-16 year old girls on 15 March. The aim is to recruit and train them as girls’ education peer mentors, joining our current network of over 50 of our beneficiaries who are already peer mentors in our projects, and help them to develop an action plan to promote women and child rights and advocate for equality in education in their own schools and communities. The plan is for them to report back on their progress and success on 12 July, Malala Day and there will be prizes for the best individual, team and school impact.

We are committed to empowering girls and have been fortunate enough to be shortlisted for GlobalGiving’s Girl Fund. Securing a place in the fund would earn us a full year of bonus funding dedicated to our projects for girls education. You can help us secure our place in the fund by voting for us through a donation. Donate right now and thanks to GlobalGiving's International Women's Day match funding, we will also secure a 30% bonus, meaning for every $1 you give, we will receive US$1.30.

Thank you so much for everyhting you do to support our girls, we really couldn't do it without you!

Keep our girls in school
Keep our girls in school
Help our girls to have their say
Help our girls to have their say
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Varsha teaches kindergarden
Varsha teaches kindergarden

Girl’s education November 2018

As 2018 draws to a close we would like to thank you for all the support you have given to our girls this year.

Empowering women and girls through education is at the heart of what we do and we are constantly striving to improve our provision. We do this by monitoring and evaluating our projects, children’s achievements and the development of our staff through teacher training.

Helping us is former volunteer and Snehalaya UK trustee Sarah. A special education needs teacher in the UK she has been visiting our Indian projects regularly since 2010 and is committed to helping the teachers who work in our own school, slum community centers and our Rehab Center. Through her own fundraising she has been able to develop and deliver a programme of teacher training, bringing educational specialists and teachers from the UK to share best practice with our Indian staff. This has included a range of areas including classroom management, activity-based learning and special education needs. Our teachers have embraced everything they have learned and while they are always enthusiastic and keen to introduce new ideas to improve the education of our children nothing beats seeing it in practice.

Which is why, this October Sarah secured the funds to allow her to host three of our teachers, Jayashri, Bhakti and Varsha, from our English Medium School and Sangeeta, the Education Coordinator for our slum schools, and arrange for them to spend a full two weeks based in four UK schools. Over the fortnight, they were able to visit a special education needs school, two primary schools and one academy, as well as after school activity clubs, giving them a good breadth of experiences to draw upon. They shadowed teachers, delivered their own cultural program, learnt more about lesson planning and preparation, use of technology, feedback and reporting but most importantly were able to see for themselves what they had previously learned being put into practice in UK classrooms.

The teachers were selected based on an application, interview, their vision for their own classrooms and their commitment to their pupils and our education projects. For us it was important that they saw how integrated and equally treated children are regardless of gender or learning abilities. It’s also really positive that the exchange so far was been led by women, helping to create role models and inspiration for our girls who dream of travelling the world to develop personally and professionally.

As 14 year old Tamana said: “I am so proud that my teacher Bhakti was chosen to visit the UK, she is a really great teacher and will come back with some good ideas. Next year can we send the children as well?”

The teachers really threw themselves into the hectic and intense schedule, fuelled by their passion and commitment to get the best out of the experience to serve our children better. It’s wonderful to see them already implementing what they saw and sharing their experience with their colleagues and we have seen improvements in the behaviour, concentration and understanding of their pupils as a result.

As 24-year-old Jayashri , our 8th Standard and maths teacher, says: “This was the opportunity of a lifetime to visit the UK and see how teachers work there. I learned many new things and am excited to start putting what I’ve seen into practice with my own students.”

Sarah will be visiting our projects in India again at her own expense in a few weeks to evaluate the effectiveness of the exchange and all being well we will repeat it with some other teachers next year. And who knows, with your support maybe we can send Tamana and her friends too!

Help us continue to provide a meaningful and professional education to our girls. Give before 31 December and we could qualify for bonus prizes as part of Global Giving’s End of Year Giving campaign.

Jayashri teaches maths
Jayashri teaches maths
Bhakti takes real pride in her students
Bhakti takes real pride in her students
Sangeeta leads a team of over 20 teachers
Sangeeta leads a team of over 20 teachers

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Group study helps motivation
Group study helps motivation

Great news we have spent time with over 3,000 girls aged 13-17 during our one-year campaign with Malala Fund. We are pretty proud that the Nobel Laureate’s organisation chose us to reach out to girls most at risk of missing out on their education in a mission to prevent them from being exploited.

We visited many schools and communities in a series of road shows led by or own hand-picked peer mentors from our slum schools and rehabilitation center who shared the legislation and laws in place to protect and empower girls and also ensure they receive free and equal rights to education. Inspired by the passion and knowledge of girls the same age of them speaking so eloquently those attending left feeling more informed and confident in standing up for their own rights and promised to spread the word to their friends, families, teachers and communities.

Closer to home, the campaign made us think about how we can do more for our own girls and one result was the launch of our Center of Excellence. Partly funded by Malala Fund we also used donations provided by you to create a study space where our girls can focus on their education. Following a consultation with the girls we developed private and group study spaces, a computer laboratory and a library with English and Marathi books. It also has two tablets and three laptops which students can borrow to play educational games, research for school and college projects and improve their computing skills. The space is proving popular already and we have further plans to add audio visual equipment to help them deliver more presentations.

Thank you – your money already goes a lot further than you can imagine and donate this Wednesday and it will be matched by a share of US$50,000 bonus funding which will help us provide even more educational resources.

Girls have easy access to the libary
Girls have easy access to the libary
Computers open up a world of information
Computers open up a world of information

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Organization Information

Snehalaya 'Home of Love'

Location: Ahmednagar, Maharashtra - India
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Snehalaya
Project Leader:
Joyce Connolly
Epsom,, Surrey United Kingdom
$52,631 raised of $95,000 goal
 
574 donations
$42,369 to go
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